Genetic Markers Don’t Follow National Borders, Says Expert

An article in the Yucatán Expat Life web site tells something that DNA experts have known for years: the claims of DNA ancestry from a particular country are often bogus. Wandering tribes of humans did not confine themselves to today’s political borders in their travels many years ago. In addition, almost all of the western hemisphere is a melting pot of people who came from many different countries.

Can a DNA kit accurately tell you how Mexican you are? Not according to one of the leading genealogy DNA experts of today.

“It’s an impossibility to really identify anyone’s DNA to be ‘Mexican,’” genetic genealogist Blaine Bettinger of Baldwinsville, N.Y., told BuzzFeed News.

The article states:

“But genetic genealogy testing is a lot more complicated than that. DNA-based ancestry companies do a good job of distinguishing between different continents, like Asia, the Americas, Europe, and Africa.

“But beyond that, it’s difficult to drill down to specific countries or regions, he said. That’s especially true of the Americas — Mexico as well as the United States, Canada, and Central and South America — because their populations are historically made up of immigrants from all parts of the world.”

You can read the full article at:


23andMe just updated their interpritation of the kits they hold. They have me grouped with a 2nd cousin as “French and German” catagory with myself a bit over 8 % “French and German”.
Well, sort of perhaps. Im’ 3/4 Irish and 1/4 French-Canadian at the great grandparents level.-The 2nd cousin is 3/4 Irish and 1/4 German at that level. We share a set of great grandparents who were born in Ireland and as best can be determined who were Irish at least thrugh the 19th century. The rest of my people also track Irish through the 19th century.
I have to wonder how 23andMe is sorting the database they have. I can only think that perhaps neither of us have ended up with much DNA from the set of great grandparents we share such that the “western europe” contirubtion (as Ancesty apparently terms my French Canadian bits) except that one of my daughters looks just like that great grandmother from Leitrim so I have to guess she got that part of her through me…..go figure.


DNA results don’t stop with the 2nd or the 3rd (etc.) generations! Most, not all, French Canadian ancestry will take one back to France or “Western Europe” as well as indigenous history. Migration and intermarriages bring in DNA ‘stuff’ we likely can’t fully understand or prove without serious and intense research.
Here is the story of my 2x great grandmother born in Scotland 1816 to a mother (my 3rd great) who one might assume was Scottish but was born in Nova Scotia (British North America) to parents who were descendants of lines from the 1600-1700’s of the 13 Colonies and in all likelihood (I used this word as I haven’t done the research to trace them further) had emigrated from England. Who knows what DNA they (in England) inherited that was a strong gene that lingered on? This is just the maternal side of this 2x great grandmother because nothing is known of her father except for his surname, so what is his ethnic background?
So proud of my Irish ancestry! But the 3rd great grandmother’s ancestors came from England in 1649 (Quaker records in Ireland are fantastic) so does that make her Irish or English? Maybe her husband…but we can’t get back beyond him;-(
The point I am trying to make is don’t assume the DNA companies have it all wrong (not saying it is all right) but look at it as pointing you in the areas where some lesser known ancestor may have had ‘history’ and is worth investigating.


Under the category of “long journeys of wandering tribes,” there is this little factoid (quote from a Wikipedia article):

Genetic history of North Africa – Wikipedia
Additionally, recent studies have discovered a close mitochondrial link between Berbers and the Saami of Scandinavia, which confirms that Southwestern Europe and North Africa was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers that repopulated Northern Europe after the Last Glacial Maximum and reveals a direct maternal link between those European hunter-gatherer populations and the Berbers.[22][25] With regard to Mozabite Berbers, one-third (33%) of Mozabite Berber mtDNAs have a Near Eastern ancestry, probably having arrived in North Africa ∼50,000 years ago, and one-eighth (12.5%) have an origin in sub-Saharan Africa. Europe appears to be the source of many of the remaining sequences, with the rest (54.5%) having arisen either in Europe or in the Near East.”[26]


23 and me seems to not be accurate regarding native american vs. “Mexican” vs. Norwegian. Articles have been written that the norwegian gene markers are often confused with other central or south american genes. Am so tired of the inaccuracies of dna companies telling people things have have not been proven without any serious disclaimers. Apparently I know am a percentage of native american which previously was norwegian/scandinavian/viking. Still can not believe any of them seriously.


Having tested with one company (it wasn’t 23andMe) and uploaded the data file from that company to two more, the only thing all three agree upon is that I’m 100% European.
Ancestry, in particular, has backed off all its earlier more specific estimates in favor of recombination into broader regions that cover much larger geographic areas than in the past.
* What once was “Ireland,/Scotland/Wales” is now just “Ireland and Scotland” but has grown to account for 50% of the total instead of a mere 18%.
* Wales and England (which used to be “Great Britain”) have been combined with NW,Europe (formerly “Europe West”) into a single overarching area now kbown as “England, Walee and NW Europe.” Although Great Britain alone used to account for 42% of the whole, when combined with Wales and NE Europe, all three together now make up only 42%.
*Scandinavia is now Norway
* Iberian Peninsula, Finland/Northwest Russia, Europe East, Europe South, and North Arica are all gone (where?).
It looks to me as if they are having real difficulty sorting out who is who. It certainl6 seems the explanationprobably is that people were moving back and forth across the North Sea a lot more frequently than they have been credit for in the past


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